Advice that supports faith and knowledge

Q: First: In light of the proverb, "Wisdom is taught through men's eloquence'', I ask you to advise me how to strengthen my faith.Second: I want to acquire knowledge of religion but as this kind of knowledge is not well cared for in Algeria; (Part No. 3; Page No. 251) only a few Muslim brothers are keen on acquiring it. May Allah reward them.Third: I am working as a builder. The people working with me are not good Muslims. They talk about silly and obscene subjects.Fourth: I have a friend whose faith is weak. He usually speaks ill of our pious brothers. I feel uncomfortable because of him. I need your advice in this regard.

A: First: We advise you to recite and listen to the Qur'an regularly attempting to contemplate its meanings as much as you can. If you find difficulty in understanding any Qur'anic Ayah (verse), you may refer to scholars in your country or you may ask the scholars of Sunnah. We also advise you to constantly remember Allah using the authentic formulas of Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) like saying ' La Ilaha Illa Allah (there is no god but Allah), Subhan Allah Wa Al-Hamdu Lillah Wa La Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Allahu Akbar (Exalted be Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Greatest). You may also refer to books such as Al-Kalim Al-Tayyib, by Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Wabil Al-Sayyib by Ibn Al-Qayyim, Riyad Al-Salihin and Al-Adhkar Al-Nawawiyyah by Al-Nawawy. Faith increases and hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Allah (Exalted be He) says: ...verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest. You should observe the five pillars of Islam while hoping for the mercy of Allah and putting your trust (Part No. 3; Page No. 252) in Him with regard to all affairs. Allah (Exalted be He) says: The believers are only those who, when Allâh is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’ân) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); Who perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise). Second: Islamic books are available in public libraries and book shops everywhere in the Muslim world. They are available upon request. We advise you to refer to scholars of Shari`ah who will guide you to borrow or buy the kind of books that may benefit you. You should ask scholars about matters which you find difficult to understand. We do not mind answering any question you may ask concerning matters of the Islamic Shari`ah. We ask Allah to make us steadfast in the truth. Allah alone is the One Whose help is sought. Third and Fourth: You should keep company of righteous people who may provide you with beneficial knowledge that will be helpful to you in performing acts of obedience. You should avoid evil company who may affect your morals, deject your enthusiasm, weaken your resolution in performing the rites of your religion or fulfilling your family role and who may tarnish your reputation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised his Ummah to keep company of righteous people and warned them against evil company. He set the following (Part No. 3; Page No. 253) noble parable in this regard saying: The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one blowing bellows, as for the owner of musk, you would buy from, or he would offer you free of charge, or you would smell its pleasant odor, and so far as one who blows the bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell. Narrated by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, and companions!